Italy vs. Spain Prediction, Tips & Odds – Jun. 25, 2022 18:00 CET
The most interesting match in the third round of the Water Polo World Championship will be played between Italy and Spain.
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Italy came to this World Championship in water polo as reigning world champion after they beat Spain 10:5 in the final game back in 2019. With an almost identical roster, this team lost against Serbia in the Olympic Games quarterfinals last year, and coach Alessandro Campagna decided to make changes, so Italy came to this World Championship with a very different roster and a lot of new faces. Goalkeeper Marco del Lungo is still one of the most important players, while Francesco di Fulvio, Nicholas Presciutti and Andrea Fondelli are here to help some younger guys to learn the system as soon as possible. Italy demolished South Africa by 22:4 in the first round. They did not play the game against Canada in second round due to health problems in opponent camp. Because of that, they had two more days to rest and that could be very important for this clash. Italy is an outsider on paper, but they are world champions and that carries weight. The losers from this match will probably play against tournament host Hungary in the quarterfinals, which means that stakes are high.
WATER POLO: The Canadian Men’s Waterpolo team has been removed from the FINA World Aquatics Championships due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Games against Italy and South Africa won’t be played, and the previous result v Spain won’t count towards group standings.
— Ben Steiner (@BenSteiner00) June 24, 2022
Spain was a real water polo force in the late 20th and early 21st century. They won the Olympic Games in 1996, and at the World Championships from 1991 to 2001, they played four consecutive finals and won two gold medals. However, since then, they have never climbed the highest step of the pedestal. They have been waiting for a medal at the Olympics for more than 25 years, and at the World Championships, they were defeated twice in the finals (2009 and 2019). At the previous two European Championships, they also lost twice in the finals and they hope it is time to break the negative tradition and win the gold medal. The roster is almost exactly the same. Legendary goalkeeper Daniel Lopez has retired, but veterans Felipe Perrone, Blai Mallarach, and Martin Famera are still here. Most of the world’s best national teams have made roster reconstruction in recent years, while Spain is hoping that with an experience they can win a gold medal on big tournament, for the first time in 21 years.
— FINA (@fina1908) June 24, 2022
In the last 10 official matches between these two teams, H2H is 5-5 which speaks how close they are in terms of quality. Italy won 9:8 in the World League last year, but much more valuable was the victory they achieved in the 2019 World Championship final game. Prior to that, Spain had three consecutive wins.
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Italy vs. Spain Prediction
Spain is a better team than Italy at the moment, but not so much that their victory is certain. A very close match is to be expected, and in such circumstances, a 1.5 handicap on an outsider in water polo means a lot. The loser will almost certainly play against Hungary in the quarterfinals, which is why the defeat in this clash probably means the end of hopes for a medal in this tournament.
Date and Time: 25.06.2022 18:00 CET
Pick: Italy +1.5HC
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